Friday, December 14, 2018

Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars

Last weekend we decided to bake these Apricot-Orange Shortbread Bars. We've made these before, usually for Christmas baking, but they do not seem to have made it onto the blog. Bar cookies are great because once you get the dough in the pan, you're done until they're done baking. No need to scoop and take cookie sheets in & out and move cookies off the sheets to cooling racks.

The recipe is from the December 2005 issue of Bon Appetit - so a old one but still a good one.
You do need a few "special" ingredients: almond paste, orange liqueur, and apricot preserves. We use apricot preserves frequently, but it seems like a flavor most people wouldn't have on hand, like raspberry or strawberry, so I'm calling it "special." The recipe suggests Grand Marnier for the orange liqueur, but we used Triple Sec.
I did all the measuring while SP prepared the pan. He mixed the dough together and pressed it into the pan while I started dinner prep. The dough is easy to make, unless your hand mixer decides to die a slow death as you are mixing. Yes, that happened to us. Sigh. Thankfully, we have an old back up hand mixer plus the stand mixer, but still, annoying.
It makes about 32 cookies. There's lots of almond and apricot flavor and a yummy shortbread flavor. I'm not sure why we quit making these for a few years because they're really yummy! We didn't make these for Christmas, we made them for our dessert this week, but since we have enough almond paste for another batch, we just might make these again next week for the holiday cookie tray.
Notes:

  • 1/4 c firmly packed almond paste was about half the 7 oz package, so 3.5 oz
  • We didn't sprinkle the final 1/4 c almonds on top since I'm not a huge fan of nuts on cookies
  • Recipe here

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